Monday, January 25, 2010

What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do

What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do: 8 Principles for Finding God’s Way

by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend

Every once in awhile I come across a book that I purchase just to give away.  This is just such a book. 

Feeling lost? Battling addiction or depression?  Experiencing a difficult relationship or medical condition?  Overwhelmed by the condition of the world or the condition of your soul?

In this brief volume, Drs. Cloud and Townsend provide a guidebook for finding your way back onto the path of spiritual and emotional wholeness.  Begin your journey with faith and trust in God. Then take steps to seek supportive relationships and wisdom, forgive, take responsibility, accept that problems can help you grow, and learn to love God.  Three final chapters specifically address depression, addiction, and problems with sex and intimacy.

This book is a deceptively quick read, only 134 pages, but it’s loaded with practical advice gleaned from years of experience as clinical psychologists. Cloud and Townsend emphasize God’s grace, but insist that the journey is a two-step process involving ‘a step of faith in God” followed by “a step of action.”  I like the authors’ conversational tone and the hopeful message.  You are not alone. God will make a way. 

I’m giving my review copy to my pastor, for use in counseling or in Celebrate Recovery.  Then I’m buying another copy--to give away.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Frozen Floridians

Cold. Colder. Coldest.  That about describes January so far in the Sunshine State.  Here in the Bay Area we've set new records for longest number of days below 60 degrees and coldest overnight temperatures.  I've found frozen lizards in our backyard and ice on the kids' picnic table.

Baby, it's cold outside.

We've finally reached the end of this two week cold snap and our daytime highs should return to the normal range of upper 60's to low 70's.  Finally, a proper Florida winter.

I had to pull out my heavy blue jacket, the one from Land's End with the Polartec lining.  I only get it once or twice a year, but it became my constant companion for a few days, even serving as a blanket over my legs while sitting in church last Sunday.

It's the jacket I bought several years ago for an early spring trip to Greece and Turkey.

We were following in the footsteps of Paul, traveling to Athens, Corinth, Thessoloniki, and Ephesus.  That area of the Mediterranean is cold in March, enough so that we needed heavy jackets, hats, scarves, and gloves.  I'd read about the hardships that Paul suffered on his journeys: shipwreck, illness, prison.  But I wasn't prepared for bitter cold.  No wonder Paul asks Timothy to bring him his cloak and to hurry before winter sets in. (Rome must have been similarly cold.)

I don't think I would have made it through that trip without my windproof, lined, winter jacket.  How much more do I appreciate Paul and the early missionaries for braving the cold to bring the warmth of the gospel to the world.

Shalom y'all